Summer Outdoor Adventures



Hot summer days are just around the corner and adventure awaits! Blue Ridge is THE place for outdoor adventures big and small. Will you hike to the tallest mountain or splash in the rapids while whitewater river rafting? North Georgia is your oyster for outdoor activities and sports. Spend your long summer days in the great outdoors! Get an adrenaline rush and feel one with nature as you embark on the adventure of a lifetime. Check out these 9 outdoor activities to get your summer started! 

Fun on Lake Blue Ridge

Photo Courtesy of Lake Blue Ridge Marina

Summers were made to spent on the lake and Lake Blue Ridge has everything you need to make it an awesome one! First stop at the Lake Blue Ridge Marina for all kinds of boat rentals. Pontoon boats, kayaks, canoes, and paddle boards are all available to rent at the Marina. Bring up to 8 guests on the pontoon boat and jet around the lake all day long. Cool off by jumping off the boat and splashing in the water or rent a 2 person tube to ride along behind the boat and hit the wake. Put your balance to the test by spending a day paddleboarding or choose to paddle while seated in a kayak or canoe. Need a break from your long day on the lake? Also at the Marina is the Boat Dock Bar & Grill, a great place to stop for lunch and drinks, then head back to the water. Also be sure to check out Blue Ridge Boat Rentals. They offer every kind of boat imaginable along with jetskis, waterskis, and towables & accessories like tubes and pool noodles. No matter what boat or craft you choose to spend your day on you’ll have a blast on Lake Blue Ridge!

 Looking for the perfect spot for a dip? Morganton Point Recreation Area offers easy access to the water. Here you can splash and swim in the water or relax on the beach. They even have kayak and paddleboard rentals as well. Bring a cooler and eat lunch at the picnic tables or order a snack from The Point. Lake Blue Ridge is calling you! 

Hike Mountains & Waterfalls 

Photo Courtesy of @nannert31

Blue Ridge and North Georgia have some of the best hiking trails in the state! You can hike to the tallest mountain peaks, hike alongside a rushing waterfall, or cross a 270 foot swinging bridge over the Toccoa. Adventure is out there on the trails waiting for you! Benton McKaye Trail is one of our all time favorite trails in the area because it connects to so many awesome spots. Just in the North Georgia area alone, you’ll hike past waterfalls like Fall Branch Falls and Long Creek Falls, cross the Toccoa River on the swinging bridge, and climb to the top of Springer Mountain. The Benton McKaye Trail goes on for 300 miles so there’s even more to explore the further you go! 

Another waterfall filled hike we love is the hike to Amicalola Falls, the tallest waterfall in Georgia. Choose either the 2.1 mile uphill loop to the falls or the 10 mile trek to the top, if you’re up for the challenge. When you arrive you’ll be in awe of the huge falls that lie before you.

For a mountain hike check out the trails to the top of Brasstown Bald near Blairsville. This 1.1 mile trail is short but steep. It’s an uphill climb to the top but it’ll be so worth it when you arrive. Brasstown Bald is the tallest peak in Georgia and from the top you can see 4 states at once! 

Horseback Riding 

Photo Courtesy of Appalachian Trail Rides

No matter your experience level anyone is welcome to go on a trail ride through the forests of North Georgia. If you love horses and being out in nature this is an adventure for you! One of our favorite companies is Appalachian Trail Rides. You’ll ride past mountains, creeks, lakes and more as you ride through their 250 acres of farmland. Looking to take a special ride? They offer unique experiences like a proposal ride, dinner ride, buckaroee ride and more.

For newer riders check out Cowgirl Up Stables. Ride through the beautiful Blue Ridge countryside as the horses guide you along the trails. And check out Cohutta Stables, Blanche Manor, and Blue Ridge Mountain Trail Rides at Hells Hollow for even more fun. Giddy up and gallop your way to one of these great stables soon! 

Trout Fishing 

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Fly Fishing School

Blue Ridge is known as the Trout Capital of Georgia! So grab your fishing pole and head to the water to catch yourself a trophy trout. The Toccoa River is abundant with trout and you may even be able to catch them right from your riverside cabin. Be sure to check out the Chattahoochee National Fish Hatchery and Noontootla Creek Farms for more great spots to fish. 

Need some assistance on your fishing excursion? Cohutta Fishing Company can help you right from the shop or on the water. Stock up on your fishing gear from their shop on Mainstreet and then join them on one of their guided fishing trips or classes. Cohutta Fishing Company’s knowledgeable and friendly staff will help make your fly fishing experience a breeze.

Also check out Blue Ridge Fly Fishing School! They offer classes and guided tours for beginners all the way up to the most experienced fishermen. And pick up the most beautiful and efficient bamboo fly fishing rods in town, handcrafted by William Bill Oyster from Oyster Fine Bamboo Fly Rods. Blue Ridge is the ultimate place for fishermen or fisherwomen! 

Ropes Course & Ziplining 

Photo Courtesy of Zipline Canopy Tours

Get your heart pumping by flying through the air at Zipline Canopy Tours of Blue Ridge. You’ll spend the day zipping through the treetops, screaming a loud “woohoo” as you zoom all the way down. Admire the scenery as you go and you may even catch a glimpse of the mountain peaks in the distance or Fightingtown Creek below. Zipline Canopy Tours offers 1-2 hour zipline experiences for ages 10 and up. With 13 ziplines to choose from and over 1,000 feet of cable you’ll never run out of zipping fun here! 

Pair ziplining with a challenging ropes course at Blue Ridge Adventure Park. They have 3 levels of obstacles ranging from 15 feet all the way up to 50 feet. Feeling like a challenge? Conquer all 35 obstacles like a champ! Then when you’re finished zip on down to the bottom on the zipline. Ages 10 and up are welcome and guests will have an hour & a half to complete the course at their own pace. 

Tubing 

Photo Courtesy of Toccoa Valley Campround

There’s nothing quite so peaceful as floating down the river, with your head back, soaking in sun. Take to the water and enjoy a day of tubing down the Toccoa River. Toccoa River Tubing Company will take you and your group out for a relaxing day of floating on calm waters. You’ll tube for about a mile and a half which usually takes 1.5 hours depending on the flow of the water that day. Toccoa Valley Campground offers tubing, rafting and kayaking, but if you’re looking for a relaxing day on the water, tubing is your best choice. They’ve been providing the Blue Ridge area with family fun for over 50 years! You and your group will have a blast as you venture on a private 6 mile stretch of the Toccoa. Drop on by and float, no reservations needed!  Blue Ridge Tubing is also a great company to check out for a tubing adventure. Let your worries float away as you float down the river on your day of tubing! 

Kayak/Canoe 

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Mountain Kayaking

If you want to be out on the river but are looking for more of a challenge why not try out kayaking or canoeing? Take your boats to the water and get ready to paddle down the Toccoa. Blue Ridge Mountain Kayaking offers both kayak and canoe excursions of the Toccoa River. You’ll journey 6 miles down river and pass by beautiful pastures, mountains, and lovely flora along the way. Before you hit the water though be sure to stop at their snack shack, for cold drinks and snacks to power you up for your day of paddling.

Toccoa Valley Campground also offers a kayaking experience with both single and double kayaks available to take down the river, on their 2 hour journey. Build those muscles up and get ready for a fun day on the water! 

Mountain Biking 

The hiking trails in North Georgia are amazing and so are the mountain biking trails! Whip through the winding trails as fast as you can or at a leisurely pace. No matter your experience level there’s trails for everyone interested in a mountain biking adventure. The Long Branch Loop is one of the easier trails and has limited obstacles that may obstruct your path. You can even take a break and admire the falls if you’d like!

For a longer ride, at an intermediate level, check out Jackrabbit Mountain. Here you’ll circle Lake Chatuge on this 15 mile journey. You’ll come across a few simple inclines and declines which makes it  a great next step from Long Branch Loop.

For a more difficult ride we’d recommend Stanley Gap. This trail is 10 miles out and back; along the way you’ll find many steady inclines as well as steep declines, perfect for flying down fast. And for those up for a real challenge Hickory Nut Trail is the most difficult of the mountain biking trails. This course is a 19 mile loop that includes 2.500 feet of steep uphill climbing, multiple obstacles, and speedy descents. It’s recommended for experienced mountain bikers only. Hop on your bike, pedal uphill, and check out some of these awesome biking trails.  

Whitewater River Rafting 

Photo Courtesy of Ocoee Rafting

North Georgia and Tennessee (just a few minutes away from Blue Ridge) are known for their whitewater rafting courses. Did you know that the 1996 Atlanta Olympics even had their whitewater events in the upper part of the Ocoee River in Tennessee? How cool is that!? But unless you’re a pro you need a guide to help you navigate the rapids. Lucky for you there are many wonderful and experienced teams out there ready to help you have a fun and safe adventure! Rolling Thunder River Company have been in the whitewater rafting business for over 40 years and will take you on either a half day or full day adventure through the Ocoee River, the Toccoa River, or the Nantahala River in North Carolina. 3 states to choose from and 3 rivers of fun! Each river is a different difficulty level so check their website to find the best fit for your group.

We also love Ocoee Rafting who are the oldest rafting company in the Ocoee, guiding people since 1976. Splash through Class III and IV level rapids with experienced guides who will help make it an experience you’ll never forget! 

Escape to Blue Ridge on a Budget



Getaway from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and come escape to the peace & quiet of the mountains! At Escape to Blue Ridge your home away from home will be filled with wonderful amenities and so many fun activities that you won’t even need to leave the comforts of the cabin to enjoy yourself! But if you want to get out and explore the town you can easily do so without going over budget. We’re here to help make your mountain vacation affordable and fun! 

Fun at the Cabin

You don’t even have to leave the cabin to have a good time! You can enjoy all the amenities and luxuries that your Escape to Blue Ridge cabin offers without having to spend any extra money. Get outdoors and play a game of football on the extensive yard, take a dip in the hot tub, challenge your family to a game of pool, take in the views, and enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal. There’s so much to do at your cabin!

Game Rooms

Game Night Courtesy of Hermosa Brown

Kick off your cabin fun with a game night in your cabin’s amazing game room! Play round after round of pool and darts, soar the puck through the goal with a game of air hockey, watch as the ball bounces back and forth with ping pong or foosball, take things old school with some fun on a classic pinball machine, start up the TV and play some video games, or gather the whole family around the table for a board game or cards. Our game rooms have everything you’re looking for and more! Having a game night is a great way to put the electronics down and really focus on the friends and family in front of you. Just have a great night eating, drinking, and playing games with the ones you love the most. Check out some of our favorite cabin game rooms here: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/9-cabins-with-incredible-game-rooms/

Home Cooked Meal

Homecooked meal Black Dog Courtesy of @jean_pedraza13

Save some money dining out by making a home-cooked meal in one of our cabin’s extraordinary large kitchens! Our favorite cabin kitchens have stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and plenty of space to prepare your meal. Our fellow chef extraordinaires will love cooking up their favorite meals in these dreamy kitchens! And once the meal is finished the whole family will have plenty of choices on where to dine whether it be at the kitchen bar, dining room table, or outdoors on the patio. Check out our top cabin kitchens here: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/gourmet-kitchens-in-blue-ridge-cabins/ 

And if you’re interested in preparing meals on the grill instead, many of our cabins have grills out on the patio. You can fire up the grill and cook up some burgers for all your guests. Anyone in your party consider themselves a bartender? Send them off to the cabin’s wet bar to prepare cocktails for everyone in your party. With Escape to Blue Ridge’s wonderful in-cabin amenities, there’s no need to go out for dinner or drinks; when everything you need is right in house! 

Outdoor Fun at the Cabin

Photo Courtesy of @bayleigh_barnes staying at GrandView cabin

Looking for some outdoor fun? Stay right at your cabin to find it! Some of our cabins are right next to a river or pond that is always stocked with fish. So grab your pole and get to catching! Other cabins have plenty of yard space for a game of touch football or ultimate frisbee. For pet-lovers, we have some cabins with fenced-in yards or gardens where the dogs can run and play to their heart’s content. And a few of our cabins have fun outdoor sports and games like basketball and cornhole. Spyglass even has a pool and Toccoa Playground & Blue Mist Heaven have playgrounds for the kiddos! If you have a lakeside cabin you’re just a few steps away from taking a swim or boat ride on Lake Blue Ridge. Some of our cabins even have their own hiking trails right out the back door! If you’re an avid hiker lover be sure to check these trailside cabins out: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/hiking-out-the-back-door/ 

Relax

Photo Courtesy of Green Pine Cabin

Relaxation is the name of the game, and our cabins are made with comfort in mind. Wake up from a good night’s sleep on one of the queen or king-sized beds. Our beds are incredibly comfy and you’ll awake to the peace & quiet of mother nature. Make a cup of coffee from the cabin’s keurig or drip coffee maker, and then cozy up on the leather couch in the great room watching your favorite TV shows and staying warm by the fire. After a bit of binge-watching and taking in the cabin’s other wonderful amenities, head to the porch to take in the views. Sway back and forth on the porch swing or lay back in an adirondack chair. Whether you want lake views, mountain views, or to be completely surrounded by trees we’ve got just the view for you. Check out these 8 cabins with amazing lake & mountain views: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/8-cabins-with-incredible-lake-mountain-views/

For the ultimate relaxation take a dip in the hot tub. You’ll feel your worries wash away as the steamy water covers your body. Want a hot tub with a view? Check! A round tub? Check! A hot tub to fit up to 8 friends? Check! Whatever your style we’ve got the best hot tub for you: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/the-ultimate-guide-to-blue-ridge-cabin-hot-tubs/ 

End your night under the stars at your cabin’s very own firepit! You can roast marshmallows and compare who can make the best s’more, swap ghost stories and scare your friends, or just lay back, relax, and enjoy the warmth of the fire. And we have the perfect fire pit for you: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/10-cabins-with-awesome-fire-pits/

There’s so much fun to have right at your very own cabin but if you do want to get out and explore then check out these great free activities!  

Fun Downtown 

Head to the heart of Downtown Blue Ridge to take in the sights! Downtown is known for it’s amazing local shops and restaurants but you don’t need to spend a dime to have a good time. 

Window Shop

Photo Courtesy of Lily & Coco

You can take in all the great shops Downtown without having to spend any money. Check out trendy clothes, artisan goods, home decor, furniture and so much more at our local shops. Explore the local wares and take note of some of the great items you’ve found for next time. No need to bring back bags and bags of souvenirs, but if you see something that really speaks to you feel free to go for it! After all, you saved your money by not splurging on every cool thing you found. By window shopping you can learn more about Blue Ridge and get to know the community better as well.  

Live Music 

Photo Courtesy of Cartecay Vineyards

Live music is always happening in and around town! Downtown you can catch a performance from local artists at spots like Misty Mountain Hops, Blue Coyote, Bin 322, Hook & Eye, and The Dogwood. You can enjoy music from local singers and musicians most weekends in town. Outside of downtown you can also hear live music at spots like Grumpy Old Men Brewing, Cartecay Vineyards, and Bear Claw Winery. And head over to the Copper Basin for live music at Tooney’s or Copperhill Brewing. And during the summer you can enjoy live music by the waters of Lake Blue Ridge at Boat Dock Bar and Grill. There’s always something happening in Blue Ridge! 

Explore Landmarks 

Photo Courtesy of @korikwissmann

Take out your phone and get ready to say cheese as you explore great photo-op spots around town! Downtown Blue Ridge alone has a lot of great spots for a photo. There’s the welcome bears at Blue Ridge Mountain Mall or the Coca-Cola mural at the end of East Main Street. One of the most famous spots for a photo-op is the Blue Ridge mural which you can find on the corner of Mountain and East First Street. Have a blast running around town trying to get the best photos at some of these iconic locations. And find more photo-op spots with our guide here: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/10-best-blue-ridge-photo-ops/ 

Fun in the Great Outdoors 

Mother Nature won’t charge you a thing to get outside and enjoy her beauty! Blue Ridge was made for outdoor lovers! There are miles and miles of trails to be explored by foot or by bike, multiple rivers and streams perfect for fishing, numerous waterfalls just under an hour away, and many beautiful and scenic spots perfect for a picnic. Grab your gear and get outdoors! 

Hiking 

Photo Courtesy of @hannahbtravelin

Over miles and miles of hiking trails are at your exposure in Blue Ridge! Hike to the tallest peaks in the state, cross over rivers, and venture through thick forests and discover what beauty awaits you. We have local trails perfect for hikers of any level of experience: from beginner to advanced. Many of our trails connect to the famous Appalachian Trail that stretches through most of the states on the east coast. A few of our favorite connecting trails include the Benton McKaye Trail, The Hemp Top Trail, and the trails in the Aska Adventure Area. For more details and more trails to explore check out our hiking blog: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/8-blue-ridge-hiking-trails/ 

Fishing 

Photo Courtesy of the Floen Family

If you love to fish then Blue Ridge is just the place for you as it is known as the Trout Capital of Georgia! Bring along your poles and fish on the waters of the Toccoa River, the Chattahoochee National Fish Hatchery, or Lake Blue Ridge. Some of our cabins even have their own fishing ponds or sit alongside the Toccoa River, so you can go fishing without having to leave the cabin! Learn more about fishing in Blue Ridge here: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/blue-ridge-fly-fishing-capital-of-georgia/ 

After catching your dinner, keep the trout fun going by playing the trout game Downtown! Just print the trout map from Fannin County Chamber’s website (https://www.blueridgemountains.com/things-to-do/family-fun/trout-art-trail-kids-game/) then visit each trout statue around town to find each fish’s name on your map. The kids will love this fun free hunt around town! 

Mountain Biking 

Photo Courtesy of Sorella Cycling

Are you the adventurous type? If so, plan to bring along your mountain bike to explore the miles of trails in Blue Ridge perfect for a ride. We love cruising around the local Lake Chatuge on JackRabbitt Mountain Trail or soaring past waterfalls and country views on Pinhoti Trail, which connects to a 350 mile stretch of trails that goes all the way from Georgia to Alabama! We love exploring Blue Ridge by bike and if you’re up for the adventure too, check out more mountain biking trails here: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/11-memorable-mountain-biking-trails/ 

Waterfall Hunting

Photo Courtesy of @suzann.dickens_hairstylist

Forget what TLC says, spend the day chasing waterfalls! Blue Ridge and the surrounding areas are home to some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the state! Within an hour of Blue Ridge, there are over a dozen stunning falls for you to explore. Stay close by with Long Creek Falls or Fall Branch Falls, or make the trip out to the beautiful yet challenging hike to Jack River Falls, or pay a visit to the tallest waterfall in Georgia, Amicalola Falls. You’ll have a blast exploring the trails to these waterfalls, taking group photos in front, and then cooling off after your journey by splashing around in the pool below. Learn all about these falls and more with our North Georgia waterfall guide: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/8-best-north-georgia-waterfalls/ 

Picnic

Multi generation family having a picnic during mountain hike

Prepare lunch back at the cabin, then pack a cooler or basket filled with all kinds of goodies, and take to the outdoors for a lovely picnic! Have a relaxing waterside picnic at either Morganton Point on Lake Blue Ridge or the Toccoa River Park. After you finish your picnic you can dip your feet in and splash around in the cool waters. Or instead, hop in the car and drive a short while to get to one of these beautiful scenic overlooks: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/5-scenic-north-georgia-overlooks/  You’ll have a meal with a view! 

Blue Ridge Activity Booklet

Lastly, print off our fun Activity Booklet for your kiddos! This free educational booklet will keep your kids entertained as they venture around Blue Ridge with the help of Ricky the Raccoon. He will help them to identify trees, animal tracks, wildlife, and more. Visit awesome spots around town included in the booklet like Mercier Orchards and the Georgia/Tennessee State Line. Not only will this booklet get the whole family out and exploring town but it will also teach your kids about the great outdoors! Download & print the Blue Ridge Activity Booklet for free here: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blue-ridge-georgia-activity-booklet.pdf 

With our helpful guide Blue Ridge can easily be a fun and memorable vacation without going over budget. We hope that  you’ll create lasting memories on your trip that the whole family won’t forget!  Please tag us with your photos on Facebook & Instagram using #escapetobr.

The Blue Ridge Experience: Spring Edition



Spring Hiking 

There’s no better time to hit the trails than on a beautiful spring day! The weather is absolutely perfect this time of year for a stroll through nature. Temperatures are mild, the forests are lush with greenery and flowers, and the water may be a little chilly but it can be a refreshing way to cool off after a long day of hiking. From trails just a little over a mile to challenging, multi-mile hikes there’s the perfect route for everyone.

And what do you hope to see on your journey? Peaceful babbling brooks, a tall rushing waterfall, a unique swinging bridge that dangles over the waters of the Toccoa River, or views as far as the eye can see? Blue Ridge has miles and miles of trails with everything and more to offer! So bring along your friends, family, and your favorite pup too, and get ready to explore the great outdoors! Discover the best trail for your group here:  https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/8-blue-ridge-hiking-trails/ 

Ride the Rails 

Photo Courtesy of the Blue Ridge Mountain Scenic Railway

Spring means that train rides are back at Blue Ridge Scenic Railway! Running from March 5th to late December the train is a favorite Blue Ridge activity. You’ll fly past mountains, rivers, and farmlands as you ride through the beautiful countryside of North Georgia. For a short and sweet adventure, take the 2-hour scenic ride but if you are looking to make the trip an all-day event why not go for the 4-hour ride? On the longer ride you’ll have a 2-hour layover in the charming sister cities McCaysville, GA and Copperhill, TN. Stand in two states at once on the Georgia/Tennessee border that lies between the two cities. Go for a quick shopping spree or grab a bite to eat. Then hop back on the train for another scenic journey back to Blue Ridge. Tickets are available online: https://brscenic.com/tickets/ 

Family-Friendly Outdoor Fun

Photo Courtesy of Ashley Williams

The kids are off of school for spring break and there’s no better way to celebrate than with some family fun in the great outdoors! One of our favorite spots for family-friendly activities is at The Lily Pad Village. One of their biggest attractions is their gem mining experience. The kiddos will love sifting through the dirt to find their own beautiful gemstones. The staff is friendly and are always ready to explain to the little ones what they’ve discovered. Not only is this experience educational but it’s also fun & rewarding because the kids can leave with a bag full of goodies.

On top of gem mining, Lily Pad Village also has fishing and mini-golf, so the fun times can last all day long! Another great outdoor activity the whole family will enjoy is horseback riding! You can go on a relaxing trail ride through the forests of North Georgia and become best friends with your horse along the way. Cowgirl Up Stables is great for new riders and Appalachian Trail Rides is always a wonderful choice as well. Giddy on up and bring the whole family along to explore Georgia on horseback! 

Spring at the Orchards

Photo Courtesy of Mercier Orchards

Mercier Orchards may be known for their apples but there’s more to them than that! The orchards are incredibly beautiful during the spring because the peach and apple blossoms are in full bloom! On weekends, you can take a farm tour to learn more about Merciers and see the blossoms up close, it really is quite a sight. Pay them a visit in May for strawberry season! Pick the biggest strawberries you can find and turn them into your own delicious strawberry pie or eat them straight from the plant! Recover from your strawberry hunting with a refreshing glass of hard cider or wine, made right at Merciers. And before you leave, shop in the market for all kinds of goodies to bring home with you, and be sure to pick yourself up a fried pie from the cafe too!  

Adventure 

Photo Courtesy of the Blue Ridge Adventure Park

Sometimes you need a heart-pumping adventure! If you like to be dozens of feet in the air then we have just the thing for you! Navigate a challenging ropes course high up in the air at Blue Ridge Adventure Park. You’ll have 4 aerial courses to choose from with obstacles and challenges that range from moderate to extremely difficult. Make your way back to solid ground on the 125+ foot long zipline! Are you up for the challenge?

If you are all about the zipline and would rather skip the ropes course then check out Zip Line Canopy Tours of Blue Ridge. You’ll zip through the trees on over 6,000 feet of cables. You’ll feel like you’re flying as your soar past the Blue Ridge Mountains. Get ready for an adventure like no other at these two great spots! 

Biking

Photo Courtesy of Pedego Electric Bikes

If you’re into mountain biking Blue Ridge is just the place for it! Weave through the winding mountain trails, with the wind in your face, and the trees zipping past. A few of our favorite trails for a ride are Jackrabbit Mountain, Bear Creek Trail, and Stanley Gap. Learn more about mountain biking in Blue Ridge here: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/11-memorable-mountain-biking-trails/ 

Mountain biking not quite your speed? Take the whole family for a scenic ride with Pedego Electric Bikes. Cruise around downtown and get some shopping done in between rides. Or take a bike tour where you can ride around the Chattahoochee National Forest and breeze past the Toccoa River on your way. The whole family will love getting out for a bike-riding adventure in the mountains!

And new to Blue Ridge is the Freedom Rail Bikes! Gather a team of 4 riders and pedal through 5 & 1/2 miles of beautiful scenery. Along the way, you’ll pass by lovely streams, vineyards, ponds, gorgeous mountain homes, and even a covered bridge. Don’t worry about getting tired though, you’ll get a break halfway through the journey to relax & take in the views. Your journey starts at the historic depot downtown; all aboard for this fun and unique peddling adventure! 

Trout Time

Photo Courtesy of KC Outfitters

In Blue Ridge, we are known as the trout capital of Georgia so you’d be remiss not to head to the waters with a fishing pole in hand! Not only is the weather perfect for a day on the water but the trout supply is abundant in the spring. Our favorite spots to fish are on the Toccoa River or at the Chattahoochee National Fish Hatchery.

If you’re an experienced fisher then, by all means, get out on the water and do your thing but if you need a little extra assistance that’s no problem we’ve got you covered! A few of our favorite fish-loving teams are Cohutta Fishing Company, Blue Ridge Fly Fishing School, and Noontootla Creek Farms. Take your pick but all of these teams will give you the proper guidance and techniques to help you become a fishing expert! Looking for more fishing fun? Don’t miss the Blue Ridge Trout Festival on April 30th! 

Outdoor Picnics 

Photo Courtesy of ExploreGeorgia.org

Nothing says spring like a delicious picnic with your family! We think one of the most beautiful spots for a picnic is at Morganton Point beside Lake Blue Ridge. Set up at one of the picnic tables or spread your blanket out on the grass and enjoy your feast as you gaze out on the waters of Lake Blue Ridge.

For more waterside spots check out the Toccoa River Park to listen to the calming sounds of the river rushing by. You can even picnic in our Downtown City Park, just pick up some to-go from one of your favorite restaurants downtown and enjoy it in the warm sunshine. Or have your picnic premade for you and eat among the apple trees with Deep Roots Orchard’s picnic special at $27 a person. Wherever you choose to picnic you’ll be in the great outdoors and able to enjoy the beautiful spring weather! 

Take in a Festival 

Photo Courtesy of the Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association

Spring in Blue Ridge and the surrounding areas have so many great events worth checking out! Here’s just a few of our favorites: 

  • The Blue Ridge Trout and Outdoor Adventures Festival: This year’s annual event takes place April 30th in our Downtown City Park. With all-new tents and exhibits, this year will be the best one yet! You can learn all about fishing, hiking, paddling, rock climbing, and more. Plus there will be plenty of craft beer, food, and music. 
  • Easter Egg Hunt: Easter weekend will have lots of holiday activities happening around town. On Saturday, April 16th pay Deep Roots Orchard a visit for a day of Easter fun! There will be picnics, soup bean tastings, live music, blossom tours, food, a professional photographer for family portraits at the orchard,  and of course an Egg Hunt! Also on Saturday is the Zoo Groovy Yard Art Easter Egg Hunt! With over 1,000 eggs hidden there will be plenty to go around! Mercier Orchards also typically hosts an Easter Egg Hunt as well. And stay tuned to our social media pages for more Easter events happening around the area! 
  • Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds events: Take a day trip over to Hiawassee, GA where they have a great line-up of events happening all spring long! They will have concerts featuring country artists Justin Moore, Chris Janson, Josh Turner, and Scotty McCreery. Every weekend from April 22nd-May 22nd you can be one with nature at the Rhododendron Festival. Stock up on all kinds of goodies at the Mile Long Yard Sale or admire cool cars at the Memory Lane Classic Car Show. Drink wine in the gardens at the 1st ever Hiawassee Highlands Wine Festival. And end your spring with a Rodeo on Memorial Day weekend. Learn more about Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds great upcoming spring events & get your tickets here: https://georgiamountainfairgrounds.com/localevents 
  • Spring Arts in the Park: Finish out your spring Memorial Day weekend (May 28th & 29th) by admiring beautiful art in Downtown Blue Ridge featuring over 175+ artists. This is the 46th year that Spring Arts in the Park has brought so many talented artists to Blue Ridge for such a great event! 

No matter your spring break plans we’re happy to provide you with the perfect cabin to call home for a few days. Our cabins are not only comfortable and accommodating, but there’s fun for everyone with game rooms, hot tubs, fire pits, and more. Let us be your home base for all your spring adventures! 

Daddy-O: A Blue Ridge Father’s Day Guide



Our rock. Our protector. Our hardworking, sacrificing, Mr. Fix It, all around wonderful man. Often times the fathers in our life don’t always get the appreciation they deserve. However, you can change that this Father’s Day and honor the man in your life with a perfect Escape to Blue Ridge.

So how do we make Dad happy? Well, through his stomach of course! And boy, do we have some good eating right here in Blue Ridge.  Here are our top 3 picks that Daddy-O is sure to love:

Carroll’s Barbeque

Open Thursday, Friday and Saturday 11am – 8pm
39 Lance St., Blue Ridge, | GA 706-946-1126

Photo Courtesy of Carroll’s BBQ

This is some of the most tender and tasty of briskets you’ll find in these parts. The ribs are “fall off the bone” good! They have pulled pork, pulled chicken, and smoked wings. But the one meat that they are legendary for is their smoked turkey, available on a plate, stuffed in a large sandwich or covering up a fresh salad for those who eat just a little lighter. They also have a few unique items on the menu that, when dining with a group, are great sharing treats. The BBQ Burrito (baked beans & shredded cheese in a flour tortilla, topped with Brunswick stew) is stuffed with your choice of pulled pork or pulled chicken. Then there’s “Tater Hill”. Carroll’s takes a large, classic baked potato, covers it in their white sauce, pile it mountain high with pulled pork, mac & cheese, baked beans, and coleslaw and then drizzles it with mild & sweet sauce.

All servings are generous, as is the hospitality at Carroll’s. Only open on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday for lunch and dinner, you want to plan a trip here with plenty of time to chow down your main plate, and then rest up a little before you indulge in a couple of their famous desserts, including homemade banana pudding served warm with a meringue topping or their show stopper, the Skillet Brownie Sundae

Fightingtown Tavern

Megadeath at Fightingtown Tavern

You don’t actually have to get into a brawl to enjoy a meal at Fightingtown! Named after a nearby creek, Fightingtown brings you regionally-sourced comfort food with a pretty big twist. Known for their delicious yet unique burgers, Dad will flip over the Megadeath Burger: two 1/2lb burger patties, 2 fried eggs, 2 slices of cheddar, 2 slices of pepperjack, 4 slices of house cured bacon, grilled jalapenos, grilled onions, beer cheese & sriracha all separated by a Krispy Kreme glazed donut! Yep, you read that right, a donut in between all that meaty goodness! Sounds healthy right? Well, calories don’t count when you are celebrating the toughest man in your life! Go ahead and live a little. Don’t worry, they have plenty of beer to wash it all down!

Boat Dock Bar & Grill

The Bar at the Boat Dock Bar & Grill

Take Dad to a sunny spot for shady people and enjoy a delicious meal, heavenly drinks and the most incredible view of Lake Blue Ridge and the surrounding mountains! Not only can you sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenery, but you can fill your belly with favorites like fried grouper tacos or their smoked chicken wings. Before or after your meal, head next door to the Blue Ridge Marina and rent a pontoon boat to go explore all the coves around the lake. If you really want to make this a Fathers Day to remember, the folks at the Marina would be happy to sell you a new wave runner or boat.

Three Cheers for Dad!

Because Dads work so hard day in and day out, they deserve a reward and what better treat than a cold one? Here in Blue Ridge we have several craft breweries to choose from. We think Dad will be in heaven when he gets to enjoy a brewsky at one of these fine establishments:

Grumpy Old Men Brewery

Pick your flavor at Grumpy Old Men Brewery

Just like Dad, this is a no frill joint. They don’t mess around: “If they don’t like it, they don’t drink it, and if they don’t drink it, they don’t sell it.” Doesn’t get much simpler than that! At this micro-brewery you can enjoy nine different beers on tap like the Aska Pale Ale or Moon Over Blue Ridge Wheat Ale. So, if you are looking for a dog friendly business that tolerates people and specializes in delicious beer, this is a must stop for your best father figure.

Copperhill Brewery

Photo Courtesy of Copperhill Brewery

Visit this brewery and you won’t know if you are in Tennesee or Georgia. Located in Copperhill, just outside their tasting room door, you can have one foot in Tennessee and the other foot in Georgia. It’s very cool to straddle the state line! Sample their brews and you’ll wonder if you haven’t traveled to Scotland or Germany. This brewery takes craft beer way, way serious. It’s not a passion for them. It’s an art form. Some of the friendliest and most knowledgeable staff this side of the Mason Dixon line.

Fannin Brewing Company

Fresh Craft Beer at Fannin Brewing Company

Take a flight….of brews that is! This craft brewing company has grown like wildfire since inception, but they stick to their roots creating fresh beer, with fresh water, all while enjoying the fresh mountain air! Created in a German tradition, you’ll love lagers like the Blue Ridge or Black Bear lagers. If ales are more your Pop’s speed, sample the Toccoa Brown or the Hiawassee Golden. Music is as plentiful here as the brews are so be sure to mark this stop on your Blue Ridge escape!

Go Fish

Sometimes all a person needs to recharge their soul is time out in nature. Let Dad recharge his batteries along the banks of the Toccoa River with a rod, a reel, and a whole lot of fish! Being the Trout Capital of Georgia, the rivers and streams around Fannin County are plentiful with fish. Give him a day alone on the waters or treat him to a guided tour from Fly Fish Blue Ridge or Fly Shop Co. You can guarantee he will be talking about that experience for years to come!

Look at that trout caught with Fly Fish Blue Ridge!

Hit the Links

If the Dad in your life doesn’t feel like life is complete unless he’s on the golf course, well, he’ll be in for a treat when you take him for an afternoon at Old Toccoa Golf Course. Here he can practice chipping and putting on the greens or taking big swings on the driving range. There are currently nine holes on the Par 70 course available to play and an additional nine will be opening soon!

Old Toccoa Golf Course

Get Extreme!

Bring a little excitement into your Dad’s life by booking a Whitewater Rafting trip with the Ocoee Adventure Center. Here your main man will get the best adrenaline rush as you race down class three and four rapids in the Ocoee Gorge.  If he still wans more heart racing experience, try zipping through the Blue Ridge Mountains at Zipline Canopy Tours of Blue Ridge. Here you’ll get to see the mountains from the treetops, zip into the valley and then soar over pastures, and come in for a landing as you cross over Fighting Town Creek. Fun, fun!

A happy Dad at Zipline Canopy Tours of Blue Ridge

No matter how you choose to celebrate the best Dad in your life, be sure to tell him how much you care about him and how much you appreciate him. Happy Father’s Day!

The Trout Capital of Georgia is ‘Wading’



Grab your fishing gear, license, and get ready to go! Fishing in North Georgia is one of the most peaceful, but also exhilarating past-times! Some of the state’s best freshwater spots are conveniently located in and around Blue Ridge. Whether you’re searching for trout, bass, walleye, or all the above, you can find it all by boat or wading in the beautiful chilly waters.

For beginner and advanced anglers, the fishing spots found in North Georgia rank in with top sights and top catches. With waterfront property rentals, Escape to Blue Ridge will ensure that your lodging experience is first-class after a long day of fishing. The summer season in North Georgia brings an assortment of adventure and a wonderful chance to test your fish-catching skills!

There’s a reason why Blue Ridge is named the Trout Capital of Georgia, and you’ll have to come fish around to agree. We picked a few of the best fish-biting spots in North Georgia, and with peak season upon us, you won’t leave empty-handed!

The Toccoa River

Photo Courtesy of KC Outfitters

The trout found in the Toccoa River include rainbow trout, brown trout, and brook trout. The variety of the species found in these waters weigh in heavier than average and seem to continue growing with each passing year. The consistent cold rushing water in this river makes it a prime spot for year-round fishing. The two main sections of the Toccoa River, the Upper and Lower areas, offer almost 20 excellent miles of available fishing spots. Access points for entry include the Blue Ridge Dam, Horseshoe Bend Park, and Tammen Park.

Shallowford Bridge

Photo Courtesy of Explore Georgia

This spot is located on the Toccoa River and provides fishing spots under the bridge or along the side of the river. The bridge is located on Aska Road and is a part of the Benton Mackaye Trail. This section is a Delayed Harvest Area, so you are almost guaranteed a catch if you are with fly fishermen. There are strict ‘catch and release’ policies during certain times of the year, nonetheless, this location is a great spot to strengthen your skills.

Lake Blue Ridge

Photo Courtesy of 365 Atlanta Traveler

The crystal-clear waters and mountain peak views make Lake Blue Ridge one of the most premier spots for a full day of fishing. The waters are packed with a variety of species, with the bluegill being the most plentiful in this area. This lake is known for its walleye, catfish, white bass, smallmouth bass, and bluegill. There are several points to enter these waters, and a boat is necessary if you’re wanting to explore all that Lake Blue Ridge has to offer. Lake Blue Ridge Marina, Morganton Point Recreation Area, Lake Blue Ridge Day Use Area, and Lakewood Landing are top access sites. Lake Blue Ridge’s consistency and abundance of fish make this spot a must-visit!

Ellijay River

Photo Courtesy of Reel Em In Guide Service

This stream in the heart of Ellijay stretches for over 15 miles. Its ample width and length are full of brook trout, rainbow trout, and largemouth bass. These waters are private and some of the most pristine in North Georgia. All you need is your tackle and a little bit of patience and you are good to go!

Cartecay River

Photo Courtesy of Sweet Tea South

One of the best-kept secrets in North Georgia for bream and bass fishing is the Cartecay River. This waterway only 0.2 miles away from Ellijay is stocked with trout once a month. Popular species caught at this stream also include rainbow trout and flathead catfish. The sounds of the flowing waters and rolling hills in view make up a picture-perfect scenery for a fishing adventure. Enter the 34.691475 latitude, and -84.483536 longitude coordinates into your GPS or smartphone to find the Cartecay River.

Rock Creek

Photo Courtesy of Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery

This fish hatchery spot found in the Chattahoochee National Forest reels in a large population of wild trout. This creek has nearby streams that flow into these waters, providing several spots to cast a line. Rock Creek is nestled in between Dahlonega and Morganton, only 45 minutes from Blue Ridge. It’s found off Forest Service Rd. 69 on State Rte. 60, making it an easy entry for fishermen. This is a prime spot for rainbow trout, and if you’re lucky you’ll catch native brookies in the higher elevations!

Jacks and Conasauga Rivers

Photo Courtesy of Coastal Angler Magazine

These two rivers run parallel to each other, providing about 45 miles of ample fishing opportunities. The Conasauga River is open year-round and Jacks River is open from March to October. The overhanging branches keep these waters cool and have a population of Appalachian brook trout. The rugged terrain and 60-foot waterfall on Jacks River are added bonuses to the fishing experience!

Wherever the Water Flows is Where We Will Go!



It’s time to cool off and soak in the views from North Georgia’s creeks, rivers, and streams. These small, but mighty, bodies of water offer an extensive variety of activities and adventure. The canopy trees, wildlife, and stunning boulders all around the waters provide plenty of sights for the whole group.

The spectacular waters found in the North Georgia Mountains are truly hidden gems. With hot temperatures rising, jumping into these cool waters is a must. These parks and recreation areas will allow you to experience the beauty of nature in a family-friendly environment. The best part is you can stay as long as you’d like! The sun is shining, the water is flowing and the mountains are calling! So what are you waiting for?! Grab your water shoes and let’s go!

Cooper Creek Recreation Area

Photo Courtesy of USDA Forest Service

Nestled in the North Georgia Mountains, Cooper Creek Recreation Area is a prime location for an afternoon or a weekend of adventure! Activities at this recreation area include hunting, hiking, and trout fishing. Cooper Creek is stocked with rainbow trout so all fishermen will not leave disappointed! After you’ve explored the shady banks of Cooper Creek, grill some burgers and hot dogs for a creek-side cookout!

Mulky Recreation Area

Photo Courtesy of USDA Forest Service

Another spot located along Cooper Creek is the Mulky Recreation Area. This is a simple, yet serene environment to spend some time. Activities involving hiking, fishing, and creek splashing are all offered at the Mulky Recreation Area. Test out your hiking boots on the Yellow Mountain Trail, which follows an old logging road for 3.6 miles through forests of hemlock, pine and hardwood.

Deep Hole Recreation Area

Photo Courtesy of USDA Forest Service

The Deep Hole Recreation Area is just north of Suches, GA, and sits alongside the banks of the Toccoa River. This campground has picnic tables, benches, and trails through the lush forest. There is also a canoe launch available if you’re looking to experience the river in a new way. Bring your portable hammock to swing within the trees and take a nap with the soothing sound of the Toccoa’s waters!

Sandy Bottoms Recreation Area

Photo Courtesy of Lilly Pad Village

The Sandy Bottoms Recreation Area is filled with towering hardwoods and views of the Toccoa River. It is in Morganton, GA, making it not too far from the town of Blue Ridge. There are places to camp, fish, swim, or sit and enjoy the outdoor scenery. This is a site that is pleasant all year long, but there is no better time than now to check it out for yourself!

Tammen Park

Photo Courtesy of Fannin County Chamber of Commerce

Tammen Park is only a few miles north of the town of Blue Ridge and is a great place for the entire family. The park amenities here include a softball field, sheltered pavilions with picnic tables, river access, and a playground. The Toccoa River access at the park is the perfect spot to cast a line or load in your kayak or canoe. With Lake Blue Ridge sitting right around the corner, you’ll find yourself wandering around the area all day!

Amicalola River

Photo Courtesy of 365 Atlanta Traveler

The Amicalola River is a stream part of the Etowah River and lends its name from the popular Amicalola Falls. This site offers walking trails, stunning sights of the water rapids, and a swimming hole. With its sandy beaches, there are multiple places alongside this stream to enjoy an outdoor picnic! After your adventure, head over to Amicalola Falls State Park to catch the 729-foot cascading falls. You can then watch the sunset fall behind the mountains at the Amicalola Falls Lodge and grab a bite to eat or a refreshing drink!

Horseshoe Bend Park

Photo Courtesy of Fannin County Chamber of Commerce

This park offers a full day of fun! Located in McCaysville, it is a wonderful place to bring the entire family. The Toccoa River flows alongside the Horseshoe Bend Park offering non-stop views. Picnic tables, volleyball nets, and playgrounds are all available for use at this park. Horseshoe Bend Park is also the location of ‘Pickin’ In the Park’. ‘Pickin’ In the Park’ is an event with live music from local artists. It occurs every Thursday, May- September, from 6pm to dusk and is a relaxing place to enjoy a summer’s evening!

The Hiwassee River

Photo Courtesy of Simply Awesome Trips

The Hiwassee River begins in Towns County and flows through the
spectacular North Georgia Mountains, into North Carolina, and eventually merging into the Tennessee River. Activities at the Hiwassee River include walking, fly-fishing, kayaking, or tubing. There are plenty of sights and plenty of opportunities for adventure!

Adventure Awaits in Aska



Nestled only a few miles outside of downtown Blue Ridge, the Aska Adventure Area is packed with plenty of activities for visitors. Whether you are hoping to explore the serene North Georgia Mountains or grab a bite to eat at a mom-and-pop restaurant, you’ll have a blast in the Aska region of Blue Ridge. The Toccoa River, Appalachian Trail, and the Benton Mackaye Trail all intersect through the Aska Trail System. When you are ready to make your Escape to Blue Ridge, don’t forget to pack your hiking boots, load up the bicycle and get ready to have some great outdoor fun!

Eat Off Aska

Photo Courtesy of Toccoa Riverside Restaurant

If you’re looking for a tasty meal without breaking the bank, Van Zandt’s Riverwalk Grill & Grocery is a country diner serving breakfast and lunch. Their shelves are stocked with basic groceries and a gift shop with goods crafted by local artisans.

The Toccoa Riverside Restaurant is a true ‘taste-and-see’ spot, as this eatery sits alongside rushing river waters. Here you can feast upon fresh local trout prepared several different ways or choose from the finest and freshest steaks, seafood, ribs, and signature pasta dishes. Pets are welcome and Fido can even enjoy some canine cuisine from the Pooch Porch Goodies menu!

Play

Photo Courtesy of Ashley Williams

Channel your inner child and get ready for a day full of fun and adventure at the Lilly Pad Village. Explore the two acres of picturesque land and choose to go gem mining, fishing, and mini-golfing! You are sure to get lots of smiles out of your little ones, and who knows, you might end up having more fun playing along with them!

Roll up your sleeves and get ready for an entertaining and educational gem mining experience. Once you’ve discovered some shiny treasure, head over to the fishing pond for some peaceful relaxation. The fishing hole, sitting on one-third of an acre, is stocked with catfish, bream, and bass. Fishing tickets and rental equipment are offered on-site. End your trip at Lilly Pad Village with a competitive game of mountainside mini-golf. The nine-hole mini-golf course takes players through tall trees with sounds from a variety of birds and frogs at the lily pond. The best part about Lilly Pad Village is that your activity ticket lasts all day so you can stay as long as you would like!

Additional Gem Mining experiences can be found at Aska Mining Company & Cohutta Cove Mini Golf and Gem Mining.

Explore Trails

Map Courtesy of the Blue Ridge Ranger District Office of the US Forest Service

Because of its mountainous terrain, hiking is one of the main reasons that travelers add Aska to their must-visit list. The Aska Trails Area consists of a 17-mile trail system where hikers and mountain bikers of all skill levels can explore. This trail system highlights the landscapes of North Georgia by revealing mountain peaks, shorelines of Lake Blue Ridge, and a series of hardwood trees among thickets of Mountain Laurel and Rhododendrons.

A few of our favorite hiking and mountain biking trails include:

  1. Long Branch Loop (2.3 miles round trip)
  2. Green Mountain Trail (2.8 miles round trip)
  3. Flat Creek Loop (6 miles round trip)
  4. Stanley Gap Trail (9.5 miles round trip)

A River Runs Through It

Photo Courtesy of Dell Neighbors

The Toccoa River flows parallel to Aska Road and is at the heart of outdoor activities in this idyllic mountain region. The 93-mile-long river journeys through the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Ocoee River Basin and is one of the South’s few north-flowing rivers. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful Toccoa by their choice of tubing, kayaking, rafting, or fishing.

Photo Courtesy of the Toccoa Valley Campground

A tubing trip down the Toccoa River is a popular activity that allows visitors a simple way to capture the river’s beauty. Depending on the drop-off site, you can float on your river tube for an hour or close to four hours. The Toccoa Valley Campground, Shallowford Bridge Tubing, and Van Zandt’s each offer tube rentals, life vests, and a shuttle trip.

Rafting and kayaking allow you to embark along the Toccoa River at your own pace. If you’re looking for a route alone or with a guide, both options are available in Aska. Pack a lunch and enjoy cruising along the mountain waters. Kayaks and rafts can be rented at the Jon Ron Toccoa Outfitters.

Photo Courtesy of Cohutta Fishing Company

Fishing in the surrounding Aska areas provides peace and relaxation for all outdoor enthusiasts. Sandy Bottoms is an excellent spot to splash in the swimming hole or catch fish on a hot summer day. Another great fishing location is at the Shallowford Bridge. Underneath the steel one-lane bridge, fishermen (and women) can set up their line and patiently wait for a bite. Private guided trout fishing tours are also available through companies like Cohutta Fishing Company.

The breathtaking scenery and endless adventures are waiting to be explored off Aska. This adventure area is rich in history and wildlife, and it will be a trip that you won’t forget. Hop in the car and Escape to Blue Ridge to explore the Aska Adventure Area!

Cruising on Lake Blue Ridge

Steve Procko

I’ve spent the last 28 years cruising the shoreline of Lake Blue Ridge. I’ve seen and heard it all, I suppose. My friends call me Captain Katz, pretty much for my expertise on steering them into the areas safe for spawning, and away from the fish hunting sapiens. But to the naked human eye, I’m just a big old channel catfish, not good for much of anything except a great selfie if they are lucky enough to snag me. I’m happy to say that hasn’t been my destiny to date.

Today, I’ve been asked to share with you warm-blooded, gill-less persons many of the amazing amenities of the 3,300 acres of pristine clean clear waters of Lake Blue Ridge.  I’ve observed your enthusiasm for our lagoons for nearly three decades. Yes, if you can see your toes in the water, I can see up at you, as well as hear you. And you are quite the vocal species, aren’t you?  Especially when you manage to hook one of my fellow aquatic compadres. 

Fishing

Photo Courtesy of @Keepinitreelblueridge

My grandfather spoke often about the rudiments of this human sport. It is essential for those of us who have no intention of being caught just how to avoid the situation. That means that I happen to know where I shall stay clear, but where you will enjoy hooking a few of those less savvy fish for your dinner.  

When deciding on your bait as well as your choice of hook, you might want to consider which one of us you hope to snag. You’ll mostly find small and largemouth bass, white bass, spotted bass, bluegill, walleye, rainbow trout, and yellow perch at the end of your pole if luck is on your side. 

If dropping a line from shore the best places to fish are amid the rocky flats around the marina, Star Creek Cove, and the docks around the main body of the lake.  There’s also some serious consideration given to the base of the Blue Ridge Dam.

Family-Friendly Recreational Spots

The U.S. Forest Service manages two recreational areas where one can exhibit their angling skills. But I suggest these to further emphasize that there is more to a great family lake experience than getting sunburned while dunking a worm in hopes of enticing the likes of me to nip at it. 

Lake Blue Ridge Recreational  Area is located on the west side of the lake. This is a passive recreation area with a beautiful view of the lake and mountains. The boat ramp is free. This park is also a good place for quiet walks and relaxing bike rides. There is a short, easy hike along the shoreline, and also a one-mile paved loop road that is popular for walking. Kayak and paddleboards are available for rent.

Morganton Point Recreational Area is the ideal place for swimming and beaching it with the family. Open April through October, the summer months will find the waters warm and crystal clear. I don’t enjoy watching you all stumble around while attempting to have fun, so please consider water shoes for the pebble base in this area, especially for the young ones. Why you all have toes instead of webbed feet, I will never understand! There are also covered pavilions for picnicking and there are lavatories (a place with a porcelain water hole of which I cannot comprehend the need).

Ahoy, Matey!

For those of you who want to tour the lake by vessel, there are numerous means to explore our more than  60 miles of shoreline, of which only twenty-five percent is developed.

There are wonderful coves to explore all along the banks of the Chattahoochee National Forest. Star Creek Cove is the largest, located just off the channel (around the corner from Star Creek Rd.). Its expanse is about a mile long and nearly 1,000 feet across at its widest point. This allows for all kinds of recreational pursuits from canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, jet skiing, and motor boating, with plenty of room for all.

If you’ve come to the lake with your owned equipment, there are five different boat ramps to choose from including Lake Blue Ridge Dam, Lakewood Landing Boat Ramp, The Lake Blue Ridge Day Use Recreational Area and Boat Ramp, Morganton Point Recreation Area, and the Blue Ridge Marina. 

You don’t have your own vessel? At the Blue Ridge Marina, you can rent pontoon boats, kayaks, and paddleboards, as well as stock up on all the boating essentials supplies. A day on the lake is bound to find you hungry. The Boat Dock Bar and Grill is a great place to grab a bite to eat. On many weekends you’ll find the Marina hosting live music and events. 

Lake Blue Ridge Outfitters is located inside the Morganton Point Recreational Area. Here you can rent kayaks, SUP boards (paddleboard-kayak hybrid), fishing kayaks, paddleboards, and party paddleboards. 

Sunrise to Sunset

There are spectacular views of the mountains from every angle of the Lake, and we sea bearers, much like you, often marvel at their reflection above us. But there seem to be two different times of the day that you humans are most captivated by the views along the lake, and that would be at sunrise and sunset. 

For breathtaking sunrises I highly recommend perching atop the Lake Blue Ridge Dam, looking north and south.  There is also a new overlook on the lake in the park area next to the dam, for you shutterflys who want to capture the moment with your cameras.

Sunsets on Lake Blue Ridge are Mother Nature’s means of showing off.  One of the favorite spots to observe her color palette’s slide show bouncing off the water is at the Morgantown Point Recreational Area. 

Lakeside Cabins

I have seen the happiest land dwellers are the ones that are lucky enough to book a cabin right on the lake. There’s just something about stepping out of the house right onto the dock of the lake or ending the day soaking your cares away in a hot tub overlooking the shimmering waters of my home. Even if you aren’t big into water activities you can appreciate the beauty of your surroundings as you settle into a rocking chair with a book, a beer or a glass of wine, and simply enjoy a spectacular sunset from the porch from one of these Lakeside Cabin Rentals.

A Big Splash

That about wraps up my lake tips. For those of you who walk on land, but envy those of us blessed to inhabit the tranquil waters of Lake Blue Ridge, I encourage you to come spend time with us. We don’t mind sharing our liquid homestead, but we do ask that along with your memories and your photos that you take home from your day on the lake, also take your trash to dispose of in appropriate containers. We look forward to your next visit! 

*Featured photo courtesy of Steve Procko

Spring Break in Blue Ridge

Photo Courtesy of Pedego Electric Bikes Blue Ridge GA

After all, we only get 18 school years with our kids, so we should make each and every school vacation count! Because if we’re being truthful, you are dying for a reason to escape from the stresses of work and Spring Break is the perfect guilt-free excuse for a fun family trip!

The Blue Ridge region is a mountain playground full of fantastic opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, including hundreds of miles of trails for hiking, as well as waterways for paddling, fishing, and boating. So go ahead, take that much-needed vacation, get recharged, and finish the school year strong. Here are a few of our ideas for a perfect family-friendly Spring Break experience.

Mountain Adventure

Play: Breathe in that fresh mountain air and take in all the views from your own electric bike. That’s right! You don’t have to worry about any family members getting too tired when you have an electric bike to help out and keep you moving when you run out of energy. Adventure out on your own or take one of their four guided tours provided by Pedego Electric Bikes in Blue Ridge. Choose a tour through the Chattahoochee National Forest and visit Fall Branch Falls, experience the Tennessee National Forest around the Ocoee whitewater Trails, adventure around the Toccoa River and Shallowford Bridge, or just cruise around downtown Blue Ridge!

Photo Courtesy of Pedego Electric Bikes

Eat: Mystic Mountain Pizza is a family owned and family friendly pizza restaurant has fantastic food and an inviting atmosphere often featuring live music. They have a passion for crafting fresh salads, all-beef gourmet hot dogs, wings, desserts, and specialty pizzas in their oak-fired brick ovens. You’ll be happy, stuffed, and a part of the Mystic Mountain Pizza family before you finish your first slice of pie. Now that’s amore!

Photo Courtesy of Mystic Mountain Pizza

Sleep: Perched on a mountaintop more than 3,000 feet above the trees with dramatic, sweeping long-range mountain vistas in the distance, The Owl’s Perch is like a magnificent picture postcard come to life. Located northeast of Lake Blue Ridge on a large lot in Morganton that borders unspoiled U.S. Forest Service land, it’s a calm oasis far removed from stressful city life, but just a short drive away from the shops and dining of downtown Blue Ridge. The western-facing view from the cabin offers you magical sunrises, revealing the mountains as the fog lifts across the lake, and spectacular sunsets that will take your breath away.

There are two spacious, comfortable living areas: the main floor has French doors and huge windows to bring the outside in, and the lower level space doubles as a game room, outfitted with foosball and ping pong tables, puzzles, board games, TV with DVDs, and a PlayStation with games. The main floor kitchen features wood cabinets, new stainless appliances, granite countertops, drip and Keurig coffeemakers, a blender, crockpot and all the dishes, pots and pans, utensils and implements you need to prepare, cook and serve. Plastic dishes are available for children and outdoor use. The dining table has room for ten, plus two at the breakfast bar. There’s a selection of toys, blocks, games, a pack n’ play, and movies for younger kids. The road to the cabin is paved, leading to a roomy gravel driveway. You’re welcome to bring up to two dogs with you as you relax, recharge, and enjoy a memorable stay at this cabin above the clouds.

Relaxing Rides

Play: The iconic Blue Ridge Scenic Railway is a must do when in town. Enjoy the scenery aboard an eleven-car train as your ramble down the tracks through the Chattahoochee National Forest and the Toccoa watershed. Enjoy a relaxing 26-mile round trip journey beginning and ending in downtown Blue Ridge with a stop in the newly revitalized twin cities of McCaysville, Ga & Copperhill, TN.

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

Eat: Made famous for their four flavors of incredible rum cakes, the Rum Cake Lady Cuban Food Cafe offers two locations to serve you. The downtown Blue Ridge Café is similar to a Cuban walk-up window, or “La Ventanita”. They offer fresh, authentic Cuban sandwiches, tamales, empanadas, plantains, rice, and beans. Their Copperhill location includes indoor seating, dinner hours, the same great menu plus a Cuban grocery. Both locations boast the best Cuban coffee in the mountains, but their dessert is what made them who they are so how can you not take home a rum cake or 3? We must admit, their guava and cheese pastelitos are pretty incredible and we would be hard pressed to pass on their tasty caramel flan or Tres Leches cake!

Photo Courtesy of the Cuban Rum Cake Lady

Sleep: Blue Mist Heaven is a luxurious mountaintop cabin with spectacular 180° views that can be yours for a very special vacation getaway. This tri-level showplace is decked out with designer touches and upscale features. Ideal for large families or a group of friends, this spacious cabin sleeps 12 in its four bedrooms and library/loft, with king beds in the upstairs master, main floor and downstairs bedrooms, twin bunk beds and twin over double size beds in the second downstairs bedroom that kids will love. There’s also a full size crib and Pack ‘n Play in the closet.

Outside, three sets of stairs lead down to a large, level backyard with a lighted covered Gazebo, four bench swings and a rock fire pit.  The backyard has a giant playground set for the kids with slides, swings and playhouse. Also, there is an additional large deck with a picnic tables, swings and chairs to lounge in while you take in the view and watch the kids at play. Blue Mist Heaven’s other amenities include high-speed wireless Internet, a movie room with recliners, giant 82” TV, two-person cocktail game table with 412 games installed and a wet bar.

Heart Pumping Fun

Play: Bring a little excitement into your family’s life when you try zipping through the Blue Ridge Mountains at Zipline Canopy Tours of Blue Ridge. Here you’ll get to see the mountains from the treetops with over 6,000 feet of cable, it includes 13 zips ranging from 250 feet to 1000 feet and 3 sky bridges to cross. Your whole family will giggle with delight as you zip into the valley and soar over pastures before landing on the banks of Fighting Town Creek!

Photo Courtesy of Zipline Canopy Tours of Blue Ridge

Eat: Nourish your body with the most delicious tasting BBQ in the mountains at Carroll’s BBQ. This family owned restaurant doesn’t skimp on their portions and if you leave hungry, it’s your own fault! Offering classic pulled pork options, we highly recommend you try their fall-off-the-bone ribs or brisket. A kid’s menu is available, but whatever you do, save room for dessert because you really NEED to try their banana pudding. It’s so good it’ll make your tongue jump out and lick the eyebrows right off your head!

Photo Courtesy of Carroll’s BBQ

Sleep: If you are imagining a scenic mountain getaway that the whole family will enjoy when searching for your North Georgia cabin rental, look no further than EddieBear! This inviting cabin was named for the owners’ constant canine companion Eddie, who loved being in the mountains. The cabin even has a fenced-in yard so everyone, including your best buddy, can safely play in the beautiful outdoors. Perched on a wooded hillside with sweeping mountain views, the cabin has a traditional log cabin exterior and warm pine interior that beckons you to step in and start relaxing. A striking wood-burning fireplace made with large river stones will keep you warm as you stretch out on the leather sofa or reclining armchair and watch the game or read by the light of the distinctive wine barrel chandelier.

Step down to the lower level into the game room and engage in some friendly competition at the dart board or billiards table that converts to a ping-pong table, a poker table and even a roulette table! There is a flat screen TV and an adjacent kids room with a chalkboard wall, games, small rocking chairs, and a pullout sofa. As you venture outside onto the lower deck, sink into the steamy waters of the hot tub, recline in the wooden lounge chairs, or have a snack at the wooden table that seats four. Directly off the deck is the fenced-in yard where you can play or gather around the fire pit and roast marshmallows for S’mores you can eat at the nearby picnic table.

Kid-Centric

Play: On the outskirts of downtown Blue Ridge in the Aska Adventure Area, you will find the uber kid friendly Lilly Pad Village. Here you can mine for large and colorful gemstones. Your kids will especially love “gemstone magic” where a large gemstone or two magically appear out of nowhere in their trays! Here you can also play a round of mountainside mini golf. If you think regular putt putt is challenging, just give this nine-hole course a try! Bonus: Children under 7 play free! The fun is not over yet at Lilly Pad Village. Pick up a pole and some live bait and throw a line or two in their cute little catch & release fishing pond.

Photo Courtesy of Ashley Williams

Eat: There is no shortage of tasty items at Mercier Orchards in Blue Ridge. The main location features a bakery boasting several varieties of fried pies, as well as apple cider donuts, and a large variety of bread, cookies and many other delectable baked goods. The Market Café (open 7am-6pm daily) serves a delicious breakfast each day till 11 am. Lunchtime is just as scrumptious with a wide variety of sandwiches including their specialty pecan chicken salad which we highly recommend you trying it in a stuffed tomato with pimento cheese! 

Photo Courtesy of Mercier Orchards

Sleep: If you’re looking for the perfect place to bring your whole family on your next vacation, look no further than Toccoa Playground, a Blue Ridge, GA cabin rental that promises you and your children a fun-filled getaway. True to its name, this spacious cabin in the woods near the Toccoa River, considered to be some of the best fly fishing in the Southeast, is a playground for both adults and kids, with plenty of child-friendly features and amenities.

Large family? No problem: the cabin sleeps ten, and has two sets of twin bunk beds in the downstairs bedroom and twin beds and a toddler bed in the upstairs loft, perfect for your young ones. The loft’s play area includes a puppet theater, play kitchen, a 32” flat screen with Blu-ray, and toys to delight kids of all ages, and the swings, slide, and playhouse on the railing-protected deck will provide hours of fun.  A crib, bassinet, baby swing, carrier, portable child seat and high chair are available, and there are safety gates on the stairs.

Educational Vacay

Play: Project Chimps provides lifelong care to former research chimpanzees at its 236-acre forested sanctuary in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The sanctuary is not regularly open to the public, but they do offer periodic tours and events including their Chimp Rock and Discovery Days. You may even consider making your trip a Volunteer Vacation where you have the opportunity to give back, see chimpanzees up close, meet other animal enthusiasts, and enjoy the mountains!

Photo Courtesy of Project Chimps

Eat: It’s hard to pass up a good burger joint, but when the locals know it as “the best hamburger in town” you just have to stop in and try one! Sue’s Burgers is the oldest restaurants in town, so they’ve had some time to perfect their craft and perfect they did! If you like your burgers big and juicy, then you are going to be a happy camper here. For the hungry one in your group, Sue features a double or triple stacked bacon cheeseburger you can even add a beer battered onion ring on every layer!

Photo Courtesy of Sue’s Burgers

Sleep: Everyone has their own idea of paradise on earth, but if yours is an exquisite mountain retreat with awe-inspiring, absolutely breathtaking views, the North Georgia cabin rental Uplifting is the answer to your vacation prayers. Located on a hillside in Mineral Bluff, 13 miles from the shops and restaurants of downtown Blue Ridge, this stunning showplace is your own private resort in a glorious sylvan setting. Handsomely constructed with natural log beams, natural pine walls, custom hardwood and cobblestone tile floors, the cabin is professionally decorated in an elegantly rustic style with upscale furniture. The adjacent kitchen offers everything you need to prepare meals for your family and friends.

When it’s time to turn in, you’ll sleep well in your choice of three professionally decorated bedrooms, each with its own bathroom. The upstairs master has a king bed, vaulted ceiling, 36” TV, and a sliding barn door that opens to reveal the amazing mountain view through the windows of the living room below. The main level master also has a king bed, a 31” TV, and, like the other master, an en suite bath with walk-in shower and double sinks. The third bedroom has a queen bed and a 39” TV, and its adjacent bathroom features a shower/tub combo and double sinks. A queen sofa bed in the game room and twin bunk beds behind a sliding barn door—great fun for kids—bring the sleeping accommodations to ten.

TOP 20 THINGS TO DO IN BLUE RIDGE FOR 2020



As we ring in not just a New Year, but a new Decade, 365 opportunities await you to get out and explore the beautiful North Georgia Mountains. Here are a few of our favorite ideas to enjoy your 2020 Escape to Blue Ridge!

1. EAT BLACK-EYED PEAS & COLLARD GREENS

After all, it’s a southern tradition. Eat these as your first meal for the New Year and you will increase your luck and prosperity for the year ahead. The Village Restaurant will be open and ready to serve you the very best in Southern Cuisine

2. WALK THE LINE

Take a walk on the state line between the twin cities of McCaysville, Ga and Copperhill, Tn! This newly revitalized town features great shopping, delicious restaurants, and plenty of photographic opportunities.

3. HIT THE LINKS

Old Toccoa Farm is the seven-course meal of golf courses in North Georgia. It took a few years to fill out the full complement of 18 holes, but the first nine, which has been open since 2015, was enough to garner stupendous compliments and comparisons to the likes of Augusta National. Now with the back nine open, and the layout reconfigured, Old Toccoa is by far the best of the best in this neck of the North Georgia woods!

4. ENJOY LIFE ON THE LAKE

Beautiful Lake Blue Ridge offers 3,290-acres of crystal-clear water to explore. Bring your own water craft, rent a pontoon boat, or take a guided tour with Capt’n Joe. Whether you are kayaking, tubing, fishing, or just floating along, there is no prettier place in the world than where the mountains meet the water.

5. SADDLE UP & RIDE

There is nothing more enjoyable than unplugging form the digital world, saddling up on horseback, and heading out into the countryside. In Blue Ridge, forty percent of the county’s land is located within the Chattahoochee National Forest and has countless miles of trails to explore and enjoy.

6. TAKE IN A FESTIVAL OR 5

There is always something happening in these here mountains. Festival season begins in February and ends in October, plus holiday activities are abundant in November and December. You will be blown away with the ice sculpting that takes place at the annual Fire and Ice Chili Cookoff. Blue Ridge festivals are family friendly, pet friendly, and extraordinarily fun!

7. FLY FISH IN THE TROUT CAPITAL OF GEORGIA

Brown trout, rainbow trout, and native trout are abundant in our freshwater mountain streams. Stop by and see Andy Bowen at the Cohutta Fishing Company for some flies and a pole. Then head out to the headwaters of the Toccoa River, Noontootla Creek, or Rock Creek for premier trout fishing.

8. WALK IN THE WOODS

There are few better places to hike than on the hundreds and hundreds of miles of trails that crisscross the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Georgia. Not only is this an area that speaks to the hiker in familiar terms – Appalachian Trail, Benton MacKaye Trail, Amicalola Falls – but it’s the wide variety of experiences, from the casual to the challenging, that make these hikes some of the most popular in America.

9. GET IN THE “SPIRIT”

You can’t visit the mountains without trying the refreshing flavors of Hard Cider at Mercier Orchards. While you are there, pick up a peck of apples and some of their fruit infused wines as well. If you are more of a purist, both Bear Claw Vineyards and Serenberry Vineyards have classic Chardonnays, Sauvignons, and more. If Craft beer is more your style, don’t fret, there are many options to choose from like Grumpy Old Men Brewing and Fannin Brewing Company.

10. HUNT FOR BIG FOOT

Plan to visit EXPEDITION: BIGFOOT! The Sasquatch Museum. You may be giggling on the way in the door, but you will leave with a new appreciation for your next walk in the woods. You’ll discover why Big Footers from around the globe make the pilgrimage to Blue Ridge just to explore this museum and its many relics.

11. SWING INTO THE NEW YEAR

Pack up a picnic and hit either the Benton MacKaye Trail or the Duncan Ridge National Recreation Trail to the Swinging Bridge. This 270-foot-long suspension bridge is the longest swinging bride east of the Mississippi River! If you do decide to jump in the middle, make sure you are faster than your travel buddies or you might get thrown off!

12. CHASE WATERFALLS

A short, family friendly hike makes Fall Branch Falls a must do activity for the young and young at heart. Explore both the upper and lower area of the falls and take time to relax on the rocks and enjoy the views. Don’t forget to bring your best friend. Dogs will enjoy the trail as much as their humans.

13. CHOO CHOO

The iconic Blue Ridge Scenic Railway is a must do when in town. Enjoy the scenery every season of the year as the train departs from Downtown Blue Ridge and travels the countryside to the revitalized towns of Copperhill, TN and McCaysville, GA

14. DRIVE IN

If you haven’t been to a drive-in movie since you were a kid, we encourage you to make plans to go to the Swan Drive In Theater and take in a show or a double feature! A throwback to yesteryears, there is just something so fun about watching a movie outdoors.

15. FAIRY CROSS & TRAIL TREES

Legend has it that as the Native Americans embarked on the Trail of Tears, they shed tears of sorrow that fell to the ground and formed tiny crosses of stone known as Fairy Crosses. Commonly known as staurolite crystals, these minerals are abundant in Fannin County.

16. HIT THE RAPIDS

The Southeastern United States is known for having some of the best whitewater around. Here in Blue Ridge we are within 1 hour of 3 action packed, exciting rivers and 2 hours away from one of the most challenging rivers in the state!

17. RELAX

If you are looking for a new hair style, a total manicure and pedicure, body scrub, massage, or a special facial treatment/peel, you will find an amazing staff of creative and accomplished cosmeticians, estheticians and stylists, the caliber you would only expect to find in a metropolitan area, at Serenity in the Mountains.

18. TAKE IN A SHOW

Immerse yourself in the culture of the area at Blue Ridge Community Theater. This cozy community theater offers quality productions, live music, and a robust children’s program. The 2020 line-up includes the first ever Blue Ridge Film Festival, surprisingly saucy comedies, musicals, and even a sweet summer farce!

19. SCENIC DRIVES

Mother Nature’s landscape specialist (shall we call her Flora?) takes a particular interest in altering our mountainscape on a quarterly basis, cloaking it in very different hues, depths of foliage, and fragrances. Drive the 41 miles of Georgia’s only national scenic drive, The Russell-Brasstown Scenic Byway as it circles around the Chattahoochee National Forest.

20. BOOK AN ESCAPE TO BLUE RIDGE

Eagles Landing

There is just something about these mountains that is so good for the soul. Whether you want to come for a romantic getaway, to reconnect with friends and family, or to enjoy the abundant outdoor adventures, we have the perfect cabin for you!

We wish each of you and yours a prosperous year ahead filled with lots of love, exciting adventures, and many opportunities to make heartfelt memories. Happy New Year!